Bonds was born in Riverside, Calif., and played high school baseball at Riverside Polytechnic High School with Dusty Baker. Bonds was a part a family that dominated athletics. His brother, Robert, played in the National Football League, and his sister, Rosie, was a 1964 Olympic hurdler.
In 1964, Bonds was a High School All-American in track & field and was named Southern California High School Athlete of the Year. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1964 and was named Most Valuable Player of the Class A Western Carolina League.
He made his Major League debut on June 25, 1968 and hit a grand slam in his first game and was the second of three players in Major League history to do it (joining Bill Duggleby, 1898, and Jeremy Hermida, 2005), and the only 20th-century player to have a grand slam as his first hit.
In 1968, he batted .254 with 35 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and nine homers. He was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.
"They said I was supposed to be the next Willie Mays," Bonds was quoted as saying after his retirement. "When they told me that, it was an honor. You're talking about the guy I consider the greatest player to ever wear shoes. I probably had more success than anyone they ever put the Mays label on. You show me another guy who's going to go 30-30 five times. I sure hadn't met him until my son did it."
Barry Bonds is the only other player in Major League history to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases, and also the only other player to have five 30-30 seasons.
Bobby Bonds averaged 29 homers and 40 stolen bases through his 14 seasons (seven with the Giants), but he also struck out 1,757 times and batted .268 for his career. Bonds is seventh all-time in strikeouts and led the league twice in whiffs.
The 2007 Veterans Committee ballot features 27 candidates on the player ballot, 15 on the composite ballot.
"If I had to do it all over again," Bonds said, "I'd do the same thing, because my team needed power, and I always played for what my team needed."
He was also a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (1971, '73-74), and a three-time All-Star ('71, '73 and '75, winning the MVP Award in '73). He also set the single-season National League record for most home runs leading off a game.
Bonds stole a career-high 48 bases in 1970, the highest total by a Giant since Frankie Frisch in 1921. The Giants made the NLCS in 1971, but Bonds had a bruised rib cage and had limited playing time in his only postseason appearance.
That season, he placed fourth in the NL MVP award voting. In 1973, he finished third in the MVP voting after hitting a career-high 39 home runs, 11 of them to start a game, and leading the league in runs a second time. Bonds was named the NL Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1973 and was also named an outfielder on TSN's American League All-Star Team in 1977.
In 1975, he broke Eddie Yost's career record of 28 leadoff home runs and his eventual record of 35 was broken by Rickey Henderson in 1989.
After being traded to the New York Yankees following the 1974 season, Bonds became one of the sport's most-traveled figures, playing for seven more teams over seven seasons, with more than one season for only the California Angels (1976-77). In 1977, he tied the Angels' club record for home runs in a season (37). He also played for the Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. When Bonds retired in 1981, he ranked 12th all-time in stolen bases.
He went on to be hitting instructor for the Indians from 1984-87, and rejoined the Giants as a coach in 1993 when Barry signed with the team as a free agent. Bobby was with the Giants franchise for 23 seasons.
Bonds died of complications from lung cancer and a brain tumor at age 57 in San Carlos, Calif.